|Title||The silver lining of a mind in the clouds: Interesting musings are associated with positive mood while mind-wandering|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2013|
|Authors||Franklin MS, Mrazek MD, Anderson CL, Smallwood J, Kingstone A, Schooler J|
|Journal||Frontiers in Psychology|
The negative effects of mind-wandering on performance and mood have been widely documented. In a recent well-cited study, Killingsworth and Gilbert (2010) conducted a large experience sampling study revealing that all off-task episodes, regardless of content, have equal to or lower happiness ratings, than on-task episodes. We present data from a similarly implemented experience sampling study with additional mind-wandering content categories. Our results largely conform to those of the Killingsworth and Gilbert (2010) study, with mind-wandering generally being associated with a more negative mood. However, subsequent analyses reveal situations in which a more positive mood is reported after being off-task. Specifically when off-task episodes are rated for interest, the high interest episodes are associated with an increase in positive mood compared to all on-task episodes. These findings both identify a situation in which mind-wandering may have positive effects on mood, and suggest the possible benefits of encouraging individuals to shift their off task musings to the topics they find most engaging.
The silver lining of a mind in the clouds: Interesting musings are associated with positive mood while mind-wandering